Day One Challenge is a filmmaking challenge for anyone up to the age of 24 to tell their stories for a better tomorrow.


Day One Challenge is a youth empowerment project based round a short film competition encouraging creatives up to the age of 24 to give it a go, or showcase their skills. We want to give rangatahi across Aotearoa the mic, to share films with a message.

Running since 2007 (formerly known as the Someday Challenge), Day One Challenge has evolved to include wrap-around support with year-round educational content, a series of events and an annual cinema showcase.

With multiple deadlines throughout the year to submit your short films, participants not only have their work celebrated but also stand a chance to win mentorship opportunities, gear, and cash prizes!

It's way more than a film competition; it's a creative support system from Day One.

Key dates

Deadline 1: 26 July 2024

Deadline 2: 18 October 2024

*Dates incorrectly listed in our e-mail March update.


Up to the age of 24

Films under 10 minutes

Categories & Prizes


  • Impact Shorts: Films under 10 min that are "Stories for a better tomorrow".
  • Short Shorts: Films under 1 min. Vertical Social Media Style.
  • Phone Shorts: Shot on a phone Only category.
  • "How To" Shorts: Share the knowledge about something that matters to you!
  • Music Shorts: Music videos for a song you have permission to use.

There are a range of special awards for different age groups, craft awards and community awards!

Judging Criteria

Our criteria focuses on:

  • Message delivery - short stories for a better tomorrow that convey a message or have an impact.
  • Coherence - Effectiveness of the visual and audio approach in supporting your storytelling.
  • Alignment of visual and audio quality with the film's content.
  • Originality - Creative, distinctive, powerful, challenging interpretation of a theme.
  • Engaging - Effective use of elements for a lasting impression.

Submission Form